The gigantic law firms that circled the globe always talk about how valuable they are in a huge transaction that requires lawyers to combine from multiple countries. Of course, there are huge deals that require legal advice in many countries, and of course when there is a blue moon it would be an advantage to have one law the firm that combines and coordinates all that knowledge. But, like the apocryphal bet-the-company lawsuit, sightings are few and far between – once in a blue moon.
Legal departments only rarely get sufficient benefit from girdle-the-globe firms on more local matters to offset their higher overhead and rates (See my post of Feb. 28, 2006: bet-the-company litigation, rare but often cited; Jan. 18, 2009: lawsuits don’t account for much stock volatility; and June 17, 2009: operational and financial risks are deemed much more worrisome.).